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Robert L. Bland Middle School Students Learn About Dangers of Tobacco Use

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Eighth grade students at Robert L. Bland Middle School in Weston were showing their peers just how dangerous tobacco can be.

Fifth and sixth grade students at Robert L. Bland Middle took some time on Wednesday to learn firsthand the dangers of smoking and tobacco use. Instead of hearing from just another teacher, they heard from a much different source.

"It's led by the youth, so they're in charge of most of the stations around here. I just kind of help facilitate everything. It's to teach students about the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco companies, how they try to trick you into buying their product," said health teacher Sonya Turner.

Eighth grade students in RAZE, like Kierston Carson, guided the younger students through each station, which included two pig lungs, a healthy one, and one that simulated a smoker's lung after ten years. The students had a chance to feel the difference firsthand.

"They touch the lung, they can feel the difference, you can feel that much more oxygen is going through the pink lungs, you can see how it's healthier, it's more oxygenated, you can see it's in a healthy body," Carson said.

While the older students hope to send the anti-smoking message loud and clear, they also hope the younger kids will take away another message.

"We don't want them around those bad influences, we want them to go in the right way, just to get them away from all that, because if you stay away from smoking, you can stay away from drugs, you can stay away from alcohol, it's just a good step after another," Carson said.

While the younger students had a chance to learn a lot, Turner said the older students learn about the dangers of smoking, too.

"They learn from it as well, because they have to do some research to find out some different things, they make up the questions for the games, so it's good for all of them involved," Turner said.

Students also rang a gong every 15 minutes on the field to symbolize the hundreds of thousands of deaths nationwide each year from tobacco-related causes.